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Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers
quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful
design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble
New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
Biographies of the authors
Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
Footnotes and endnotes
Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films
inspired by the work
Comments by other famous authors
Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
Bibliographies for further reading
Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical
interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to
enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
Wildly popular, prolific and prophetic, Jules Verne leads his legions of delighted readers on journeys beneath the sea
and beyond the stars. Here, the grandfather of modern science fiction takes us to the Earth's core. The quest begins
when irascible but dedicated mineralogy professor Otto Lidenbrock finds a centuries-old parchment inside an even
older book. His nephew Axel decodes it, and discovers instructions on how to get to the center of the Earth: "Go down
into the crater of Snaefells Yocul," an extinct Icelandic volcano. As they descend, the explorers also travel backward to
the past, through layers of human history and geologic time, encountering prehistoric plants and animals and
ultimately coming to understand the origins of humanity itself.
Though brimming with exciting exploits, this journey is also metaphorical-a spiritual and psychological trip to the
center of the human soul. While many of Verne's scientific speculations have been proven, it is this author's
remarkable ability to fashion a rousing tale full of compelling characters, extraordinary adventures, and provocative
ideas that ensures he will be read for years to come.
New original illustrations by Rachel Perkins.
Ursula K. Heise is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. She has published a book,
Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism (1997), and numerous articles on contemporary American and
European literature in its relation to science, ecology and new media.
About The Author
Ursula K. Heise is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. She has published a
book, Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism (1997), and numerous articles on contemporary
American and European literature in its relation to science, ecology and new media.
The creator of the roman scientifique, the popular literary genre known today as science fiction, Jules Gabriel Verne
was born in the port town of Nantes, France, in 1828. His father, Pierre, was a prominent lawyer, and his mother,
Sophie, was from a successful ship-building family. Despite his father's wish that he pursue law, young Jules was
fascinated by the sea and all things foreign and adventurous. Legend holds that at age eleven he ran away from
school to work aboard a ship bound for the West Indies but was caught by his father shortly after leaving port.
Jules developed an abiding love of science and language from a young age. He studied geology, Latin, and Greek
in secondary school, and frequently visited factories, where he observed the workings of industrial machines. These
visits likely inspired his desire for scientific plausibility in his writing and perhaps informed his depictions of the
submarine Nautilus and the other seemingly fantastical inventions he described.
After completing secondary school, Jules studied law in Paris, as his father had before him. However, during the two
years he spent earning his degree, he developed more consuming interests. Through family connections, he entered
Parisian literary circles and met many of the distinguished writers of the day. Inspired in particular by novelists Victor
Hugo and Alexandre Dumas (father and son), Verne began writing his own works. His poetry, plays, and short fiction
achieved moderate success, and in 1852 he became secretary of the ThA(c)Atre lyrique. In 1857 he married Honorine
Morel, a young widow with two children. Seeking greater financial security, he took a position as a stockbroker with
the Paris firm Eggly and Company. However, he reserved his mornings for writing. Baudelaire's recently published
French translation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the days Verne spent researching points of science in
the library, inspired him to write a new sort of novel: the roman scientifique. His first such novel, Five Weeks in a
Balloon, was an immediate success and earned him a publishing contract with the important editor Pierre-Jules Hetzel.
For the rest of his life, Verne published an average of two novels a year; the fifty-four volumes published during his
lifetime, collectively known as Voyages Extraordinaires, include his best-known works, Around the World in Eighty
Days and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Begun in 1865 and published to huge success in 1869, Twenty
Thousand Leagues has been translated into 147 languages and adapted into dozens of films. The novel also holds the
distinction of describing a submarine twenty-five years before one was actually constructed. As a tribute to Verne, the
first electric and nuclear submarines were named Nautilus. In 1872 Verne settled in Amiens with his family. During
the next several years he traveled extensively on his yachts, visiting such locales as North Africa, Gibraltar, Scotland,
and Ireland. In 1886 Verne's mentally ill nephew shot him in the leg, and the author was lame thereafter. This incident,
as well as the tumultuous political climate in Europe, marked a change in Verne's perspective on science, exploration,
and industry. Although not as popular as his early novels, Verne's later works are in many ways as prescient. Touching
on such subjects as the ill effects of the oil industry, the negative influence of missionaries in the South Seas, and the
extinction of animal species, they speak to concerns that remain urgent in our own time.
Verne continued writing actively throughout his life, despite failing health, the loss of family members, and financial
troubles. At his death in 1905 his desk drawers contained the manuscripts of several new novels. Jules Verne is buried
in the Madeleine Cemetery in Amiens.
Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Good To Know
In 1848, Verne got his start writing librettos for operettas.
When Verne's father found out that his son would rather write than study law, he cut him off financially, and
Jules was forced to support himself as a stockbroker -- a job he hated but was fairly good at. During this period, he
sought advice and inspiration from authors Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo.
Verne stands as the most translated novelist in the world -- 148 languages, according to UNESCO statistics.
In this fully dramatized adaptation of Jules Verne's classic, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Leonard Nimoy,
John de Lancie, and cast members from Star TrekA(R) feature films and all four TV series take you on an incredible
journey. Journey to the Center of the Earth is the story of Professor Lindenbrock, his nephew Axel and their quest
for the secrets contained at the earth's core. Led by Hans, their Icelandic guide, Lindenbrock and Axel descend
deeper into the planet than anyone has ever gone before...but will they make it back to the surface alive? Featuring
virtuoso performaces from the entire cast, riveting sound effects and original music, Alien Voices' production of
Journey to the Center of the Earth is an adventure in sound.
This book was written very well.I am a very big fan of Jules Verne so if you are you better read this book.It was very
exciting and filled with suspense.I believe this is one of his best novels.Time travel has always been fantasized but
Vernes brings it to life!This was a great book.
If you have read other reviews of this book you noticed that some people find it repugnant and others delightful. This
is a book for those who truly love to read and who are truly eager to learn. It is best to describe a book in a sentence or
two if possible, so here's my try at it: Upon discovering a remarkable map, the nervous Henry and his eccentric Uncle
are off to Iceland, where the ancient map leads them to a dormant volcano that witholds the path to the center of the
earth. Along with them is their guide, Hans, who, being always calm and cool, leads them imperterbably through fields
of diamonds, underground animal habitats, and dangerous encounters. The reader soon finds, along with the
entertaining characters, that successfully descending to the earths center will not be as difficult as ascending back to
the earth's crust! Again, don't bother reading this book if your attention span is minimal, Jules Verne does sometimes
get pedantic! That is why I have given this book four stars. It really is a shame to waste 12 dollars, so I ask that you be
a responsible reader and know your interests. If scientific things are not for you than find something else. If your a
science-fiction reader, you know that sometimes the author lavishes you with details. So there, I hope this is helpful.
This book is about a professor who finds strange documents that say and prove that going to the center of the Earth is
possible. The professor wastes no time and journeys to Iceland's greatest mountain, where the document says there is a
passage to the center of the Earth. The professor drags along his nephew and hires a mountain guide.
The author catches your interest and keeps it. His writing is effective but some of the sections in the book are hard to
read because of the difficult vocabulary. The strength of this book is it's true facts such as the many minerals
introduced. I found this book dull at some parts but very interesting and adventurous in other parts. I recommend this
book to people that love science and suspense. This book is the type of book where you have to like science to be able
to follow it. Because of the difficult vocabulary, I would say that 7th graders on up should read this wonderful book.
The book left questions in my head such as: Can you possibly reach the center of the Earth? This is theoretically not
possible, but is still fun to think about. All in all, it was wonderful to read.
Read An Excerpt
From Ursula Heise's Introduction to Journey to the Center of the Earth
Traveling to the center of the Earth would involve a downward trip of about 4,000 miles that would cut through the
Earth's crust and its mostly solid, rocky mantle into a liquid core of iron alloy, then end at a solid inner core of iron
and nickel. Pressure and temperature would rise with increasing depth, and temperatures would reach about 10,300
degrees Fahrenheit at the Earth's center-hardly a climate that many geo-tourists would enjoy! Much of this knowledge
about the geophysical structure of the Earth was acquired in the course of the twentieth century, long after Jules Verne
published Journey to the Center of the Earth. In 1864, when the book appeared, different hypotheses about the nature
of the Earth competed with each other. Even then, though, in light of any of the contemporary scientific theories, a
journey to the Earth's core belonged to the realm of the fantastic. Why then did Verne, who was intensely interested in
the science and technology of his day, choose this idea as the founding assumption of what was to become one of his
most famous novels? And why is this journey undertaken not by a dreamer or a madman, but by a hard-core scientist,
a professor of mineralogy and geology who is thoroughly familiar with the scientific debates of his time?
For a reader who first encounters Journey to the Center of the Earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the
enthusiasm of Professor Otto Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and even Lidenbrock's goddaughter GraA1/4ben for
mineralogical specimens and geological theories may seem nothing short of eccentric. After Alfred Wegener's theory of
continental drift-originally proposed in the 1920s-had been generally accepted in the 1960s, geology disappeared from
public awareness as a science that could bring about exciting new discoveries and theories. But in the middle of the
nineteenth century, geology was a brand-new branch of knowledge rife with the opposing theories and opinions of
some of the best minds of the day. Far from being an arcane branch of scientific knowledge of mostly academic
interest, it touched upon the most basic questions of the origin of life and human beings and the nature of the very soil
they walk upon. Not just scholars but public and religious authorities believed they had a vital stake in the outcome of
As a scientific discipline, geology had in fact only come into being in the first half of the nineteenth century. Before
that, mineralogists had been just about the only scientists to study the inanimate environment, conducting their
investigation of the Earth most frequently in the context of French and German mining schools. Their study consisted
of a mix of natural philosophy, theology, and the beginnings of empirical observation, without the benefit of an
established academic framework. Abraham Gottlob Werner, a German professor at the Mining School of Freiberg in
the late eighteenth century, combined the study of rock formations with the biblical account of Genesis. The Scottish
naturalist, chemist, and geologist James Hutton opposed Werner's theories and grounded his own account of the
development of the Earth on observable processes and on the principle of uniformitarianism-that is, the idea that the
processes that had gone into the shaping of the Earth over immensely long periods of time had not fundamentally
changed and could still account for geological development. Hutton's work was followed by that of Scottish geologist
Charles Lyell, whose classic book Principles of Geology, published in 1830, laid down the foundations of a new,
empirically based science of the Earth.
But the Earth is so vast and all-encompassing that it often appeared complicated to infer its general operating
principles from the processess observable in one particular place. Indeed, huge areas of geology-the 70 percent of the
Earth's surface that is under water, as well as its interior-are simply inaccessible to direct human observation. (Lyell
once joked that an amphibious observer who could inhabit both land and sea would be a more suitable geologist than a
human being.) For these reasons, divergent theories about the nature of the Earth continued to rage throughout the
nineteenth century. While some scholars argued that the interior of the Earth had to be mostly liquid, with the solid
ground a mere thin crust not unlike ice on lake water, others replied that on mathematical grounds the Earth could not
be anything but for the most part solid. The age of the Earth was similarly subject to vastly divergent estimations, and
this issue became part of the violent controversy over Darwin's theory of evolution in the 1850s and 1860s. Biological
evolution occurs over immense periods of time, and in general, the development of the physical structure of the Earth
over hundreds of thousands or even millions of years contradicts creationist accounts of a much shorter time span for
the origins of the Earth.
In Verne's day, therefore, geological theories about the origin and gradual shaping of the Earth, along with biological
insights into the evolution of life, were what genetic engineering and nanotechnology are for us today: innovative and
exciting areas of scientific research that have a profound bearing on the way we think about our own identity and
experience our everyday lives. Verne's familiarity with these debates shows up in every chapter of Journey to the
Center of the Earth, which abounds in references to the leading scientific minds of his day, from naturalists and
geologists such as Georges Cuvier to explorers such as Alexander von Humboldt and archaeologists such as Jacques
Boucher de Perthes. Caught up in the evolving plot, a contemporary reader's attention might easily slide over such
references unawares. But their presence is the equivalent of mentions of James Watson and Francis Crick, Stephen
Hawking, or Bill Gates in a novel written today.
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